WEST VIRGINIA at KANSAS
When: 1 p.m.
Line: Kansas -16, O/U 133.5
KenPom Projection: Kansas 74, West Virginia 57
Kansas is looking to hold serve against West Virginia at home on national television. The Jayhawks defeated the Mountaineers the first time around in Morgantown, 61-56. It wasn’t one of the Jayhawks better performances. KU jumped out to a 20-7 lead in the first 10 minutes before being outscored 39-28 over the next 20 minutes. Kansas matched the Moutaineers the rest of the way to earn the win. The victory was the last for the Jayhawks before the beginning of the three game losing streak.
Kansas should come out with more energy this time around with the home crowed behind them and the prospect of being three wins away from clinching their ninth straight Big 12 title.
West Virginia comes into the game losers of three straight and four of their last five. WVU is halfway through a brutal stretch of their schedule. They’ve just come off games at Kansas State, home against Oklahoma State, and home against Baylor. They’ll end the season at Kansas, at Oklahoma, and home to Iowa State.
LSU at MISSOURI
When: 3 p.m.
TV: KSMO (Ch. 62), ESPN3 (online)
Line: Missouri -13.5, O/U 151.5
KenPom Projection: Missouri 81, LSU 67
LSU beat Missouri in Baton Rouge 73-70 and will be looking for the sweep this afternoon at Mizzou Arena. LSU beat Missouri inside the first time around, shooting 67.9 percent from two while holding Mizzou to 44.4 percent shooting inside the arc. Mizzou will need to reverse that trend if they want to keep their momentum going.
Missouri needs wins. Not so much for their NCAA life but for confidence. The Tigers within a week’s time felt the glory of knocking off Florida followed by blowing a late game lead against Kentucky just a few days later. Things won’t get easier for Missouri next week as they’ll host Arkansas and travel to Tennessee.
Laurence Bowers has yet to get going since his return from his injury. This afternoon would serve as a good matchup for him to get going before the postseason play begins.
KANSAS STATE at BAYLOR
When: 6 p.m.
TV: ESPN 2
Line: Baylor -3, O/U 135.5
KenPom Projection:Baylor 68, Kansas State 66
The road to Kansas State’s first Big 12 men’s basketball title is going to be tough.
Baylor is a talented team who is desperate for a marquee win to get them into the NCAA tournament. A victory over KSU would certainly qualify. The Bears were losers of three straight before beating West Virginia in Morgantown on Wednesday, creating the predicament they find themselves in tonight.
As much as it is true Baylor desperately needs a win, so does Kansas State. They are within three games of clinching at least a share of the Big 12 title, so I would expect KSU to at least match the energy of Baylor. The Wildcats dismantled Baylor the first time around in Manhattan, 81-61, on the strength of 19 Baylor turnovers. If Kansas State can maintain the defensive pressure they were able to generate in the first meeting they should be able to escape Waco with a win.
A fair warning to K-State fans: Bob Knight is slated to be the color analyst for tonight’s broadcast. It may be a good idea to watch the game on mute.